State on StarCraft: NaNiwa’s Stargate PvZ Opening Analysis

                BUILD ORDER
Note: It’s really difficult to tell NaNiwa’s chronoboost allocation from the VOD, but it’s a pretty safe bet to chronoboost Probes in the early-game, Phoenixes when the Stargate is first up, and upgrades in the mid-game.
● 9 – Pylon
● 13 – Gateway
● 15 – Assimilator x2
● 17 – Pylon (in natural)
● @100% Assimilators*
● 18 – Cybernetics Core
● 20 – Zealot
● 23 – Mothership Core
● (Cancel Zealot if there is no Zergling pressure)
● 23 – Nexus (Natural)
● 24 – Stargate
● 25 – Pylon
● 26 – Forge
● 27 – Sentry
● 29 – Warpgate
● 31 – Phoenix (out before 6:00! – Immediately goes out to hunt Overlords)
● 37 – Phoenix
● 39 – Pylon
● 41 – Phoenix
● 47 – Phoenix
● 51 – Nexus (3rd Base ~7:15)
and checkpoints for later (in order). . .
● 2x Assimilators at Natural
● +1 Ground Weapons
● Twilight Council
● Photon Cannon at 3rd Base
● 2x Gateways (walling off the Photon Cannon at 3rd)
● Begin constant Void Ray production (around 9:00)
● Zealot Charge
● 2x Assimilators at 3rd Base
● 4x Gateways
● +2 Ground Weapons
● Templar Archives
● 3x Gateways
● Begin warping in Zealots and Archons
● Pressure!


  1. Introduction
  2. Fast-Expand
  3. Securing a Third
  4. Timing and Transitions


Though less economic, Gateway-expands offer a lot more flexibility than Forge-expands do. With Gateway openings, you can apply a lot more pressure and tech a lot more aggressively than you could otherwise. It’s why they’re such a great fit for this build—NaNiwa techs up to Stargate immediately after he starts his Nexus.

It’s also worth noting that NaNiwa walls off the ramp to his main with his Gateway and Cybernetics Core. Though it’s a small thing, this wall-in makes it significantly easier to defend Speedling all-ins that might hit as you take your expansion.

If you’re not getting 6-Pooled, it’s best to cancel the Zealot you start at 20 supply right before it finishes. You don’t really need it otherwise and the extra 100 minerals makes your expansion that much faster. Here’s how to react if you do get rushed:

  • Against 6-Pool: If you’re up against a 6-Pool, the Zerglings should arrive while your Zealot is still in production. Let it finish, chronoboost another, and pull some probes to help defend until your Mothership Core is out. Micro carefully—you don’t want to lose any Probes and you definitely don’t want to lose your Zealot against this opening. Stabilize and expand when safe.
  • Against Speedling All-Ins: If a Speedling all-in hits and you can’t defend your natural, wall off your ramp with another structure and throw down a Forge immediately. You should be able to fend off the attack by attacking with your Mothership Core, chronoboosting a Sentry, and keeping the Zerglings out of your main with additional structures. Begin +1 Ground Weapons, chronoboost it constantly, and take your natural with three Gateways worth of Zealot/Sentry. Scout with Hallucination and react appropriately.

If neither of those things happen, happily take your expansion. Since we’re not really hiding the fact that we’re opening with Phoenix, go ahead and throw your Stargate and Forge down to wall-in your natural. On some maps, you will probably have to throw a Gateway down as well to complete the wall. In that case, the build will be just a little bit off, but it’s nothing to worry about.
It might take a few games, but you should be able to execute the build well enough after a little bit of practice. Be patient and keep going until it’s almost perfect—at least up to about 40 or 50 supply—before you hit the ladder and dive into the mid-game.

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2 Comments on State on StarCraft: NaNiwa’s Stargate PvZ Opening Analysis


On September 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Great help State, thanks!


On September 19, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Great article, really helpful!

Only thing I can think of is that the build order would be very hard to follow ingame- perhaps put it in a notepad doc in the downloads or something?